The Diversity of Beauty in Oakland: Skincare by Feleciai
After 12 years feeling unsatisfied with her work as an Oakland-based real estate broker, Feleciai Favroth found her calling as an entrepreneur and esthetician. She was motivated to bring more diversity to the skincare and beauty industries. “It’s getting better,” she reflects, “but it’s nowhere near where it needs to be. I still see one-size-fits-all in magazines.”
When she made the first step toward her transformation by enrolling in Renaissance’s Business Planning class, she had a completely different idea in mind. Feleciai’s first business plan focused on becoming a personal stylist, but she abandoned it when she realized she hated shopping! It wasn’t until the following October of 2007 that she found her calling. She was taking a number of classes at Nova Studio in Point Richmond, learning to make soaps, scrubs, creams and other hand-crafted skincare products. Along with her sister, a physician, Feleciai created formulas using high-quality, organic, moisture-rich ingredients such as shea butter and jojoba oil. Her soaps stand out as multisensory works of art – jewel-like bars with beveled edges and swirls of earthy ochres and rustic blues. They leave the bather’s skin feeling soft, and scented with custom blends as found in her Eucalyptus Peppermint bar. With an excellent product and solid business skills in place, Skincare by Feleciai was born.
Her business is not a job, but part of the fabric of her life.
On a never-ending quest for improvement, Feleciai became the president of the trade association, Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild in 2013, and a licensed esthetician in the Fall of 2016. She hires three to four contractors regularly to help her wrap soaps in her Oakland facility, and works with a financial planner and an accountant as-needed. She is currently completely restructuring her company, rebranding with the help of a graphic designer, and trimming her product line from nearly 115 down to about 15.
Feleciai advises that owning a business isn’t the right choice for everyone. She admits that at times it takes an emotional toll, warning that you might find yourself alone, frustrated and ready to ‘throw in the towel.’ “There’s nothing wrong with a paycheck,” she tells aspiring-entrepreneurs. “You’ll know deep down inside if it’s right.” And Feleciai knows that it’s right for her.
Feleciai especially enjoys the financial and personal freedom afforded to her by owning her own business, and though she jokes about complaining when she takes work home at night, she says she’s satisfied because she’s driven by more than just money. Her business is not a job, but part of the fabric of her life. Describing her transition from a real estate broker to skin care professional and entrepreneur, she acknowledges, “this is me. All the other things I’ve done were not. You just do you.”
Shop from Skincare by Feleciai online and at local farmers markets:
Fridays from 8 – 2 p.m at the corner of 9th & Washington, Old Oakland, CA
Sundays from 9 – 1 p.m at 5300 Claremont Avenue, Oakland, CA